Kuchinate: the African Refugee Women's Collective, South Tel Aviv
In south Tel Aviv, amongst the industrial artist studios and galleries, a group of twenty African refugee women get together twice a week to weave baskets, eat lunch and talk about their lives. "Kuchinate" (a Tigrinya word to describe a technique of crocheting with one needle) is a social business that was started in Tel Aviv a few years ago by clinical psychologist, Diddy Mymin Khan, herself an immigrant from South Africa. After working with this population for many years, Khan realised that what they needed most was a source of income, but also a place to connect to other women and heal from their trauma.
Most of the women in the collective are original from Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria or Ethiopia, and have survived extremely horrific conditions. While Israel provides them with a temporary safe haven, their lives here are not easy and it is difficult to make a living. Kuchinate provides much-needed financial and emotional support, giving the women "a place to go when they wake up in the morning." The baskets you are receiving this month are hand-made from recycled fabrics that have been donated by local Israeli textile factories.